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Holiday event Saturday at Folsom’s historic Murer House

Stroll the grounds and residence during the December open house

The Murer House is decorated with vintage Christmas decorations for this month's open house and tours.

The Murer House is decorated with vintage Christmas decorations for this month's open house and tours. Photo courtesy The Murer House and Learning Center

Vintage Christmas decorations are on display this Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Murer House during its First Saturday tour availability.

The Folsom Garden Club also will hold a sale of holiday wreaths and cooking salts at the house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Visitors can tour the Murer House, museum and gardens, which include a bocce court, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Giuseppe “Joe” Murer, who emigrated to California from Crespano del Grappa, Italy,  was a prominent builder in Folsom in the early 20th century. He purchased the home site in 1921 and began building his house in 1925. The museum is located in the onetime garage and includes photographs dating from 1906 to the 1950s. Displays cover the history of Italian immigration, the early formation of Folsom, and major events in local and national history into the 1950s.

The Learning Center offers classes many weekends in Italian cooking, as well as occasional classes in speaking Italian.

The Murer House and Learning Center is at 1125 Joe Murer Court in historic Folsom. For information on the site and events throughout the year, visit http://www.murerhouse.org/home

-- Kathy Morrison

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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